Broadcast to the whole world: the Lviv International BookForum is changing its format

On October 6 – 9, 2022, the 29th International BookForum will be held in Lviv. This year, due to the full-scale invasion of Russia on the territory of Ukraine, not only the dates of the event have been changed, but also the format of the event.

Thanks to the support of one of the world's largest literary festivals, the Hay Festival (Great Britain), the event will be broadcast to the whole world. One hundred special guests will be able to attend the event in an offline format by personal invitation.
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Within the BookForum, 20 events will be held with the participation of more than 40 authors from Ukraine, Great Britain, the USA, Mexico, Syria, Portugal, France, Iran and Tanzania. Among the key themes of the festival: women and war, money and culture, propaganda, war crimes and memory.

Today, Ukraine is a key bastion in the struggle for world peace and values. We are preparing an event during which powerful voices from almost all continents will be heard in support of Ukraine, and Ukrainian voices are the most important among them,” says Sofia Chelyak, programme director of the Lviv International BookForum and curator of the festival.

The goal of this year’s festival is to explain to foreigners via culture what and why is currently happening in Ukraine and with Ukraine. To raise important and uncomfortable topics, the global understanding of which by the world community will contribute to the victory over totalitarianism and will become the foundation for building a new democratic world after the victory of Ukraine. At the same time, the organisers aim to show the Ukrainian audience how powerful is the support for Ukraine now in the world and how important Ukrainian authors and their expertise are to the international community.

The writer and propaganda specialist Peter Pomerantsev joined the supervision of the programme. According to him, holding this year’s festival in Lviv is extremely important: “We are going to the Literary Festival in the city of Lemkin [a lawyer from Lviv who introduced the term “genocide” into international law] to show once again and forever that the voice of Ukraine will be victorious. The armies of democracies are helping Ukraine with weapons in the fight against Russian attempts to repeat the genocide. Writers contribute with their talent and their voices.”

The Lviv International BookForum will be held with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture. With the support of the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, as well as the Ukrainian Book Institute, ZINC, Open Society Foundation and Suspilne (UA:PBC).

Lviv BookForum has been one of Ukraine’s key platforms for intellectual exchange and debate. It is crucial for Ukrainian and international writers and creatives to come together and reflect on universal issues that shape, define, and divide the world today. I am delighted that the partnership with Hay Festival will amplify these powerful voices and deliver them to a global audience,” notes Ukrainian Institute Director General Volodymyr Sheiko.  

Ukraine/UK Season Director at the British Council David Codling says: “The purpose of the UK/Ukraine Season, devised in partnership with the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, is to celebrate cultural exchange between our two countries and the vital importance of free expression and independent critical discourse at this time. We are delighted and honoured to be collaborating with the Lviv BookForum, through our strategic partnership with Hay Festival, to bring the events to a global audience. This new dimension to the British Council’s longstanding relationship with Hay Festival reflects our shared commitment to international literary conversations and our solidarity with Ukraine, a country whose literary culture always has much to contribute but more urgently than ever now.”

With freedom of speech under threat around the world, organisations like the Hay Festival and BookForum are particularly important. They act as catalysts for change by exercising freedom of speech and the tolerant exchange of ideas. We greatly appreciate the BookForum team and its mission and want to support them and introduce them to our global audience of curious souls and important stakeholders,” commented Hay Festival International Director Cristina Fuentes La Roche.


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